News

Wednesday 5th May 2021

If you are visiting this web-site for the first time, a very warm welcome; and for those of you who are 'old hands' welcome back! I hope you will enjoy having a look around.

Newish on this page is an arrangement of Above all Else, a song that may be familiar to some of you - it's a very gentle song, reflected in John's simple but haunting arrangement - he preferred to hold back so that the piano could shine through, and we feel it works well. Scroll down towards the bottom of this page and it is the sixth track. We hope very much you also like our other arrangements of some of our favourite well-known worship songs! Simply click on a title and listen.

It is lovely to be in May - traditionally a beautiful month for gardens, blossoms etc - though with the current unseasonably cold weather it doesn't feel much like it! Back in my teaching days I remember some delightful evening drives through the Kent countryside amidst beautiful blossom.

My birthday is fast approaching too - having had all those wonderful musical 60th celebrations four years ago there can be no secret about my age! This time last year I did ponder on the possibility of doing something this year on the theme of the Beatles' song When I'm Sixty-four... am so pleased I didn't take it any further as it would not have gone ahead.

It is nice to have had gradually a little bit more freedom and I know how much people (me included!) are looking forward to the opening of pubs inside later this month. Even with the amazing success of the vaccination rollout this may still be a time to be 'cautiously optimistic'. A lot is going to depend on the nature of lifting restrictions, and timing, and ultimately our own human behaviour. And it is incredibly sad to see what is going on in India.

I hope those of you who are reading this are not suffering too much, and that whatever your circumstances you are able to keep your spirits up.

My home church, St Peter's, has now re-opened with a restricted congregation by appointment - with services being streamed on the church website. Shoreline Church (the community church where I play - see below for a link)) is still temporarily closed, with a form of online service given by the leaders going out each Sunday; but we are due to reopen on 23rd May, which I am looking forward to very much. I am still not able to get in to hospital on a Wednesday for my Chaplaincy duties, and am missing it very much - but for Talking News we have been recording at home for over a year, with weekly recordings going out online and on memory sticks.

John Daniels and I very much hope that our music may bring many of you comfort and strength at these challenging and difficult times. It is being played from time to time as a bed for morning thoughts, readings and prayers for weekly online local radio Sunday services.

When we are able to be together I always value and enjoy playing as part of the worship group at Shoreline Church, a community church is Stubbington, which celebrated its 21st anniversary last year and moved to a new venue, the Crofton Hall at Stubbington Community Centre. More details at https://www.shorelinechristianchurch.com (type in your browser).

My music, and that with John, continues to touch many hearts - and is especially poignant at times of sadness and loss and for reconciliation purposes. Our music seems to have a capacity to bring people together, and this ties in with a comment from one of the vergers at Peterborough Cathedral a couple of years ago that meant a lot to me. The cathedral is used to holding more formal lunchtime concerts during the summer months, but he said that some of them can be a bit highbrow and described my music as being 'inclusive rather than exclusive' - appealing to a wide range of tastes. I took what he said very much to heart and would hope that my music always serves to draw people in rather than turn them away.

And it is always heartening, and humbling too, for both John and I, to receive and read your correspondence. Thank you so much. I would like to share one of the messages with you and have put it on the Reviews page. It is from a lady who has heard me in Norwich Cathedral, and I am grateful for her kind permission to reproduce it, anonymously.

On the Radio page are some interviews which hopefully give an insight into my life and music. For more details on Blue Is the Sky go to http://rsmithcompany.moonfruit.com/#/blue-is-the-sky/4590394637.

I am increasingly being asked where our music is available. Apart from this web-site's Online Shop, and a number of internet sites, our CDs are on sale in a number of Christian bookshops around the country. All are available through Amazon and/or to download via a number of internet sites including iTunes and CD Baby. Simply go to one of these sites and type the title and/or our names in the Search box.

My Jesus, My Saviour
Endless Hallelujah
I Will Offer up my Life
You Alone/Mercy Medley
The Servant Song
Above All Else

Happy listening!

Charles

Something Music Ltd